Uruguay’s general elections on 27 October promise to be the most closely
contested in a generation as the ruling left-wing Frente Amplio (FA) coalition’s
stranglehold on power since 2005 loosens. What finally got the FA
over the line for the first time back then was the financial crisis in
Argentina in 2002 and the havoc it wreaked in Uruguay. The traditional
Partido Colorado (PC), which was in power at the time, has been a distant
third in the opinion polls ever since, its reputation for economic competence
in tatters. But this could be about to change. The latest polls show the
PC surging into contention. In an ironic twist this comes as a new
Argentine financial crisis is taking its toll on the incumbent party, this time
the FA, two months before the first round of presidential elections in which
former army commander Guido Manini Ríos, who has some striking similarities
to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, also looks set to play a big part.

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